(Note: This is a Recycled Review from Lyndi’s Love Notes, Nov. 1, 2011. I read it on my Kindle.)
The Inventor’s Companion
by Ariel Tachna
Erotic Male/Male Steampunk
Gabriel Blackstone’s world is divided quite clearly into castes: everyone knows their place and abides by it. As an inventor in the merchant caste, his life is predictable in its routine until the night his best friends and assistants, Caleb and Andrew, purchase the time—and body—of a companion for his birthday. As an activist in the Caste Equality movement, everything Gabriel believes in tells him to refuse the gift, but then he meets Lucio. The beautiful and alluring companion is far more than the vapid courtesan he’d expected, and he can’t get the man out of his mind.
After that night, Gabriel tells himself to forget about Lucio, but a chance meeting at a ball makes it clear neither of them is willing to ignore the compelling chemistry between them. It will take all their combined trust and cunning, plus the help of a wily aristocrat and a plucky political activist, to overcome the challenges of infidelity, abuse, and social stigma that lay along their road; however, Gabriel knows it will all be worth it if at the end of the day he can call Lucio his own.
This is a fantastic read. The world was fascinating, in many ways like Victorian England, but with a rigid caste system including pleasure slaves known as companions. Gabriel’s inventions provide the steam technology, and his work to overturn the caste system adds the punk, and the hot sex scenes make it steamypunk. It’s a very emotional read, with great character development. Highly recommended for fans of male/male romance.
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Linda / Lyndi